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The Cuban 5


John Dolva
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Washington Post ad demanding Freedom for the Cuban Five is published today!

Full-page appears in main section of Mon. Apr. 30, 2012 edition

All across Washington D.C. and the surrounding region, readers of the Washington Post will open the Monday, Apr. 30 edition of the Post to see a dramatic full-page ad demanding freedom for the Cuban Five, political prisoners unjustly held in United States for almost 14 years.

The ad is an effort spearheaded by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and supported by more than 325 organizations and individuals who raised the funds to publish the ad.

Prominent political leaders and human-rights organizations are quoted in the ad, including: Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colin Powell during his tenure as U.S. Secretary of State; former U.S. president Jimmy Carter; 10 Nobel Prize recipients; former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Miguel D'Escoto, U.N. General Assembly president from 2008 to 2011; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker; Amnesty International; and the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

The U.S. government's misconduct in the political prosecution of the Five is exposed in the ad as well. Unknown to the Cuban Five and their defense team during trial, Miami reporters were secretly on the government payroll while demonizing the Five in the media, which "goes to the heart of the unjust conviction of the Five."

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio, Fernando González and René González were arrested on Sept. 12, 1998 by the FBI, and subjected to a politically-motivated U.S. prosecution that has been condemned worldwide. Their trial took place in the virulently hostile environment of Miami, despite defense motions to change the venue.

Although public awareness of the Five has grown since their arrest, their case is still far from being widely known in the United States.

"Every inch of newspaper coverage, every minute of television and radio coverage about the Cuban Five's anti-terrorist mission and the campaign for their freedom has been a struggle. This is why we decided a full-page ad was needed in the Washington Post, to demand that the political establishment, from President Obama to Congress members to the Justice Department, right this terrible injustice and free the Five," said Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee. "We are deeply appreciative of so many people who helped make the publication of this ad possible."

The National Committee published its first full-page ad in The New York Times on March 3, 2004, in what was up to that point the biggest exposure of the Five's case in the media. Since then, it has helped to publish other ads, and conducted numerous press conferences as part of a much larger media strategy designed to break through the wall of silence surrounding the case.

The Post is the most read newspaper in the Washington, D.C., "beltway" with the 6th largest reach in the country. Daily print circulation is 545,345 and estimated readership is 1,080,000. According to the Nielsen Ratings company, it is the most read newspaper in Congress and the Executive branch, and the only newspaper that political leaders in Washington read on a busy day.

"Letting the people of the U.S. know about the wrongful imprisonment of the Cuban Five is the most important task for winning their liberation," said National Committee member Chris Banks.

Habeas Corpus appeals for Gerardo, Ramón, Fernando and Antonio are actively underway in the Southern Florida federal district court. Support actions, protests and forums are multiplying on every continent and across the United States.

TO SEE THE AD

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http://www.antiterroristas.cu

Washington Post ad demanding Freedom for the Cuban Five is published today!

Full-page appears in main section of Mon. Apr. 30, 2012 edition

All across Washington D.C. and the surrounding region, readers of the Washington Post will open the Monday, Apr. 30 edition of the Post to see a dramatic full-page ad demanding freedom for the Cuban Five, political prisoners unjustly held in United States for almost 14 years.

The ad is an effort spearheaded by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and supported by more than 325 organizations and individuals who raised the funds to publish the ad.

Prominent political leaders and human-rights organizations are quoted in the ad, including: Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colin Powell during his tenure as U.S. Secretary of State; former U.S. president Jimmy Carter; 10 Nobel Prize recipients; former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Miguel D'Escoto, U.N. General Assembly president from 2008 to 2011; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker; Amnesty International; and the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

The U.S. government's misconduct in the political prosecution of the Five is exposed in the ad as well. Unknown to the Cuban Five and their defense team during trial, Miami reporters were secretly on the government payroll while demonizing the Five in the media, which "goes to the heart of the unjust conviction of the Five."

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio, Fernando González and René González were arrested on Sept. 12, 1998 by the FBI, and subjected to a politically-motivated U.S. prosecution that has been condemned worldwide. Their trial took place in the virulently hostile environment of Miami, despite defense motions to change the venue.

Although public awareness of the Five has grown since their arrest, their case is still far from being widely known in the United States.

"Every inch of newspaper coverage, every minute of television and radio coverage about the Cuban Five's anti-terrorist mission and the campaign for their freedom has been a struggle. This is why we decided a full-page ad was needed in the Washington Post, to demand that the political establishment, from President Obama to Congress members to the Justice Department, right this terrible injustice and free the Five," said Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee. "We are deeply appreciative of so many people who helped make the publication of this ad possible."

The National Committee published its first full-page ad in The New York Times on March 3, 2004, in what was up to that point the biggest exposure of the Five's case in the media. Since then, it has helped to publish other ads, and conducted numerous press conferences as part of a much larger media strategy designed to break through the wall of silence surrounding the case.

The Post is the most read newspaper in the Washington, D.C., "beltway" with the 6th largest reach in the country. Daily print circulation is 545,345 and estimated readership is 1,080,000. According to the Nielsen Ratings company, it is the most read newspaper in Congress and the Executive branch, and the only newspaper that political leaders in Washington read on a busy day.

"Letting the people of the U.S. know about the wrongful imprisonment of the Cuban Five is the most important task for winning their liberation," said National Committee member Chris Banks.

Habeas Corpus appeals for Gerardo, Ramón, Fernando and Antonio are actively underway in the Southern Florida federal district court. Support actions, protests and forums are multiplying on every continent and across the United States.

TO SEE THE AD

http://www.freethefive.org/downloads/WaPoAd43012.pdf

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5 Days for the Cuban

5 in Washington D.C.

Nuria BaRbosa León

cinco1.gifBrick by brick the mainstream media wall of silence surrounding the case of the Cuban Five is coming down. Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International Committee for the Release of the Cuban Five told Cubadebate: "We have managed to break through the mainstream media a bit. Univisión had impartial coverage for the first time."

The author might well have a point but it's quite hypocritical for some to complain about "the mainstream media wall of silence" in an editorial in the offical mouthpiece of one world's worst regimes regarding press freedom. In Cuba there is a state-controlled "media wall of silence."

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There are anti-terrorists in the US . In Florida of all places. :

''Organizations of Cuban-Americans in Miami have strongly condemned the terrorist attack committed April 27, in Coral Gables, against Airline Brokers, a travel agency specializing in charter flights to Cuba, and called for an end to U.S. government restrictions on travel to the country. The agency had recently made arrangements for a delegation of 300 people who traveled to Cuba to witness the Pope’s visit to the island.

The statement was signed by the Alianza Martiana, the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the José Martí Association, the Miami Bolivarian Circle, the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, according to Prensa Latina, in addition to the Foundation for Normalization of US-Cuba Relations, the Cuban-American Defense League and the Socialist Workers Party, among other non-governmental groups which support the Cuban people.

"We regard this criminal action as a terrorist attack, not only against this company, but also against the right of all American citizens to travel to Cuba and, particularly, to share time with and to help their families," the statement said.

"Terrorist actions like this one violate democracy," added the text, which urges the U.S. government to lift all Cuba travel bans and calls on local and federal authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation that can lead to prosecution of the culprits.

"As long as terrorists walk the streets of Miami as free men, actions like this one will continue to be perpetrated by them or by others who think and act like them," the statement warned, emphasizing that those responsible must be found and appropriately punished so that acts such as this are not repeated in South Florida.

After pointing out that no member of Congress or any other elected state official has condemned the attack, the document adds that this must happen as soon as possible, since the situation is "truly disgraceful."

The fire at the travel agency, which occurred during the early morning hours, has been described as deliberate by authorities speaking to the local press, and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT), as well as the Coral Gables Fire Department.''

edit add :

An interview with Alicia Jrapko and Bill Hackwell

GLORIA GONZÁLEZ JUSTO

"WE know that justice is on our side and that in the end it will triumph, because our friends around the world continue to grow, not only in quantity but in determination and energy… I know that many of you came to Washington from far away representing hundreds of others. This shows that our movement is not fictitious, but rather actively connected and everyone is working together."

These are the words of Gerardo Hernández, read April 21, 2012 in front of the White House.

After participating in Havana’s May Day march and before attending the Five Days for the Five event with the international brigade also in Cuba for the workers’ holiday, Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five in the United States spoke with Granma International at the Juan Antonio Mella International Camp in Caimito, along with photographer and Committee member, Bill Hackwell. The two activists shared their impressions and perspectives on the recent 5-day event organized by the group in Washington.

Alicia, why was the event in Washington organized?

The center of U.S. power is in Washington. Five continuous days of activity for the Five had never been held in the U.S. capital. Many people were telling us that it wasn’t a good time for actions related to the issue of the Five, given that it is an election year. But we asked ourselves: Why should we wait? We can’t wait for the political situation facing the U.S. government to dictate when we demand freedom for the Five, the definitive return to Cuba of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and René González, known around the world as the Cuban Five.

We wanted to take the Five’s case to a wider audience, to Senators, Congress members, students, churches and the U.S. people in general, at subway exits, on the streets, in front of the White House itself.

So, a group of about 20 friends and solidarity activists from the U.S. and other parts of the world, in an organized and previously arranged plan, visited 45 offices of Congressional Representatives and Senators, where we held meetings with their staff. On three occasions, the Congress members themselves met with us. We talked about the case and left them all current information.

Concretely, for the first time a coordinated lobbying effort was undertaken; documentaries about the Five were shown at two universities in Washington; the establishment of a new solidarity committee was supported; public meetings were held with the participation of intellectuals, religious figures, artists, writers, filmmakers and trade unionists, culminating in a demonstration in front of the White House.Ç

Why take the case to Congress?

The majority of the Senators and members of Congress with whom we sought an appointment are in favor of a change of policy toward Cuba, for different reasons. We wanted to express, in some way, that the case of the Five is central to any change in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, that it cannot be viewed as an isolated issue. The case of the Five is one of the obstacles to the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Additionally, the legal process is now at a critical stage in which practically all of the legal options have been exhausted. In Washington, we represented the voices of thousands of people who helped make the Five Days for the Five possible and who, in their own countries, echoed what was happening in Washington. As the possibility of a legal judgment in favor of the Five grows more remote, solidarity within the U.S. itself must increase.

How was the organization of such a broad event accomplished?

With lots of creativity, lots of dedication and bringing together a number of people who spent months planning all the details. We had a budget thanks to the work of many committees and people around the world. If we had had more resources, we would have been able to do more. But when we didn’t have the resources to put an advertisement in a widely circulated newspaper or announcements on buses, as we had planned, we went out onto the streets with thousands of flyers… We were never short on determination, or enthusiasm to go out and meet people.

What did you learn?

When the commitment exists to work together on a project with a common objective - one as important as the freedom of five innocent men who every day show us the meaning of dignity and brotherhood - anything is possible.

I would like to emphasize the very positive, direct contact with the people of the United States. Conversing with people on the street confirmed for us what we supposed: that the case of the Five is not known. People had never heard about the trial, not in newspapers or on television. Nevertheless, they were open to receiving information. We are more convinced that we have to continue struggling even more within the U.S. to achieve more support for the Five within the U.S. population itself.

What about the ‘Obama Give me Five’ campaign?

Barack Obama, as President of the United States, has the Constitutional power to release the Five by simply signing an executive order. We have additionally said that he has a moral obligation to put an end to the injustice. It is a campaign with a family message, simple and direct, like those used within the United States. We have the support of more than 300 committees around the world to make this message the universal demand to free the Five.

What next?

The International Committee in the United States is going to follow-up on the work done with the Congress members and Senators. Some activities with U.S. trade unionists are planned. We will continue with the campaign for events on the 5th of every month. We know that actions are planned around the world, that thousands of messages reach the White House on that date.

The events we organize every year for September 12, the anniversary of the arrests, through October 8 will be here soon. It’s no longer necessary to make a call for action around these dates. Committees in many countries organize all kinds of activities to demand freedom for the Five Cuban patriots.

This shows the maturity and the determination of the solidarity movement. We know that solidarity is key to opening the prison doors for the inevitable return of the Five to their homeland.

Bill, as a U.S. photographer specializing in documentary and social photography and a member of the Committee, what is your view of the Five Days for the Five event in Washington?

When we started planning the Five Days for the Five concept, we didn’t have any idea of what might happen. The results surpassed our expectations, with all of the activities we organized. For example, the demonstration in front of the White House drew some 300 people. At this time, that’s significant. The police had to call for reinforcements to monitor the demonstration. They told us they didn’t expect that many people.

I think that the key to freeing the Five is building a social movement in the United States… There are indications that solidarity with the Five is growing, as we saw in the demonstrations, in several U.S. cities.

Another sign is that several members of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement participated in our demonstration. The solidarity movement is gaining strength despite the fact that the mass media has tried to bury the case.

Our role is to struggle to win their freedom as soon as possible.

Alicia and Bill returned to Oakland, in California, promising that they would soon be seen again unfolding a banner over a busy highway demanding: Obama… Give me Five.

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Headlines

Antiterroristas 2010.

Todos los Derechos Reservados.

Edited by John Dolva
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http://www.antiterroristas.cu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=380:saul-landau-nefarious-details-in-the-cuban-five-case&catid=42:specials&Itemid=107

Nefarious details in the Cuban Five case

By Saul Landau

I sit on a gray plastic chair, facing a tiny, gray, plastic table and another empty, gray, plastic chair, waiting for Gerardo Hernandez in the visiting room of the maximum-security federal pen in Victorville, California. Next to me, in similar seating arrangements, a middle-aged black man speaks to a woman, presumably his wife; other black men talk to their spouses. Two kids run from the “children’s room” to their Dad to get a caress.

Four guards chatter and observe the visitors and inmates. No contraband must be exchanged and no “excess touching.”

Gerardo emerges, reports to the guards. We hug. Gerardo talks about ideas to force the National Security Agency to release its vectored map of the Feb 24, 1996, shoot down of two Brothers to he Rescue planes by Cuban MIGs. The government charged Gerardo with conspiring to commit murder because he allegedly – the government offered no evidence – passed the flight information to Cuban authorities knowing they would shoot the planes down (how would a Miami-based agent know of high level decisions in Havana?).

The Cubans maintain the MIGs fired their rockets at the intruding planes over Cuban air space. U.S. authorities insist it happened over international airspace. If the NSA map sustains Cuba’s claim then Gerardo, who purportedly delivered the date and time of the fatal flights to Cuban authorities, committed no crime. The prosecutors offered no proof that Gerardo delivered this information. Hollywood would portray the Miami courtroom scene with the prosecutor telling the jury: “I don’t got to show you no stinkin’ proof.”

Indeed, Gerardo’s defense lawyer showed that Basulto, the head of Brothers to the Rescue, had already announced the date of the flights, and several U.S. officials also knew of his plan. The FAA had even advised Cuban authorities of the impending flights. Facts don’t matter when a jury and judge understand that a “wrong” decision could result in their houses getting burned down.

The NSA refused defense attorneys’ subpoenas to deliver their vectored maps during the trial and appeals: “National Security,” the two deadly words not found in the Constitution or the Bible, constituted their reason (excuse) for not delivering the documents. What could force the NSA to comply? We had no answers, but the question will linger.

Other questions still bothered me. What had motivated the FBI to arrest him and his fellow Cuban agents? After all the Cuban agents had fed the Bureau juicy morsels related to terrorist activities, including the location of a boat on the Miami River loaded with explosives. The FBI commandeered the boat before it sailed for Cuba – or blew up in Miami.

“Hector Pesquera,” replied Gerardo. He became the Agent in Charge of the Miami Bureau and immediately focused his attention away from the terrorists and onto the anti-terrorists. After the jury handed down guilty verdicts at the trial of the Cuban Five, Pesquera proudly boasted to a Miami radio station that “he was the one who switched his agents’ focus from spying on the spies to filing charges against them.”

(See, Stephen Kimber, “What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five”, an e-book from Amazon)

Indeed, Pesquera persuaded Justice officials to refocus attention from exile terrorists in South Florida and onto the Cuban intelligence agents who had penetrated the terrorist groups. The case ‘never would have made it to court’ if he hadn’t lobbied FBI Director Louis Freeh directly.” (Kimber, p. 286)

Ann Bardach reinforced the view of Pesquera’s key role in turning the FBI from investigating terrorists to investigating anti-terrorists. Bardach and Larry Rohter wrote two stories in the New York Times in July 1998, in which Posada Carriles, a notorious Cuban-American terrorist admits his mastermind role in a series of bombings in Cuba to discourage foreign tourism. One of these bombing killed a young Italian tourist whose father is suing the United States for sponsoring terrorism.

Bardach told me about her surprise when Pesquera answered her question on Posada by saying “lots of folks around here think Posada is a freedom fighter.” Pesquera, friendly with ultra right exiles, terminated the investigation of Posada, and shredded his file. Even as Pesquera focused the FBI on destroying the Cuban agents web, thus reducing the Bureau’s information supply on terrorism, 14 of the 19 participants in the 9/11 attacks trained in the area without FBI scrutiny. Pesquera seemingly escaped scrutiny for his apparent lapse. (“Trabajadores,” May 22, 2005)

Gerardo and I switched subjects to Alan Gross’ interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Gross, convicted in Cuba of activities designed to undermine the government, which AP reporter Desmond Butler documented, whined about his life in prison, the food, his window had bars on it and he had only been able to receive visits from U.S. Senators, Members of the House, Foreign Presidents, religious groups and a day with his wife. He complained conditions in the Havana military hospital were downright prison-like.

Worse, ignoring Desmond Butler’s reporting and former National Security Council official Fulton Armstrong’s devastating op ed in the Miami Herald (Dec. 25, 2011), he proclaimed his innocence, insisting he only wanted to help the Jewish community get better internet access. For this he smuggled in equipment (documented by Butler) and got paid almost $600,000 from a company contracted by USAID. And Blitzer, who should win the journalism award for best stenographer, didn’t ask him about any of the facts Butler and Armstrong had raised.

We hugged goodbye. Gerardo raised a triumphant fist before returning to his cell. I walked into the dry desert wind, to the car and the road, down 5,000 feet and 40 miles to the Ontario, California airport with a chance to think about justice and injustice, again.

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow. His WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP and FIDEL are available from cinemalibrestudio.com

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Havana. June 1, 2012

LASA Congress calls for the release of the Five

CALIFORNIA,— Academics from various countries joined forces with others in the United States calling for the release of the Cuban Five, unjustly tried and convicted in U.S. courts for monitoring anti-Cuban terrorist groups in Miami.

LASA.jpgParticipants in the 30th Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) held an event here in solidarity with Cuba, and in opposition to the blockade, which was attended by an additional 300 people.

The meeting was convened by the National Committee to Free the Five, led by Gloria la Riva.

During his closing remarks, Cuban intellectual Miguel Barnet emphasized the importance of ongoing work in support of Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando, who have been serving outrageous sentences since 1998 when they were convicted for informing their country of plans hatched by terrorist anti-Cuban groups based in South Florida.

René González has completed his sentence but has been forced to remain in U.S. territory for an additional three years of probation.

During the encounter, Cuban academics Camila Piñera and Juan Luis Martín addressed aspects of Cuba’s current reality, including the updating of the country’s economic model underway.

In a statement to Prensa Latina, Barnet emphasized as significant the participation of representatives from practically all regions of the United States.

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Can somebody protecting

Cuba against terrorism be

fairly tried in Miami?

United States v. Gerardo Hernández, Luis Medina, Antonio Guerrero, Rubén Campa and René González.

From the panel of appeals. 11th Circuit. Atlanta. August 9, 2005

Judges BIRCH, KRAVITCH and OAKES.

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http://www.adelante.cu/english/index.php

Cuba Calls on Friends to Join Struggle for The Five

washignton_loscinco_88_130.jpg

Havana.- Relatives of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons called on here today friends worldwide to join the struggle for the return home of these heroes during an on-line forum on their case. A panel made up by relatives of The Cuban Five, as they are internationally known, and members of the Free the Five Committee communicated with cybernauts from nearly 35 countries to explain details about their case.

According to its moderator, journalist Arleen Rodriguez, this forum, organized by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, is part of the efforts to intensify solidarity with Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, arrested in 1998 for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups.

Antonio's mother, Mirta Rodríguez, highlighted the significance of the role of the press in spreading the truth about the case, as big media continue silencing it.

During the on-line exchange, cybernauts worldwide sent messages of solidarity and questions mainly about legal aspects of the case, the situation in the prisons and the way they were detained.

The panel also referred to the upcoming International Colloquium of Solidarity with The Cuban Five, to be held in Holguin on Nov. 28-Dec.1st, attended by more than 330 delegates from some 50 countries.

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Online Forum on Cuban 5 Begins

Relatives of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters currently serving long sentences in the United States and members of groups in solidarity with their cause are participating today as panelists in an online discussion forum about the case.

Convened by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the forum was opened on Thursday, November 22, so that Internet users from around the world can post their questions or comments about Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino, detained in 1998 for monitoring terrorist groups based in Miami .

The forum will begin with a panel that will be broadcast live via Internet, which can be seen from the websites Cubaminrex, and Nation and Emigration.

Previous similar actions dealt primarily with the denunciations about the actions of the U.S. government in the case, called unconstitutional by the defense team for the Cuban Five, as they are known internationally.

U.S. jurists, including attorney Martin Garbus, have presented habeas corpus appeals in recent months on behalf of Gerardo Hernandez, proving Washington's involvement with more than a dozen reporters during the trial in order to taint the jury and stoke community prejudice against the antiterrorist fighters.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 08:57

http://news.cubasi.cu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=2488:online-forum-on-cuban-5-begins

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Havana. March 1, 2013

Statement from Josefina Vidal, U.S. director at the Cuban Foreign Ministry

IN the context of the publication of the February 27 MINREX statement, referring to a new outrage against one of the Five, a State Department official, who asked not to be named, gave a statement to the EFE news agency.

A cable from EFE, datelined February 28, noted that the U.S. admitted that it has denied consular visits to René González, due to "reciprocal travel restrictions." In the report, headlined "U.S: Consular visits to Cuban René González denied for reasons of reciprocity," the agency quotes a non-identified State Department official who stated, "Both the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington are subject to reciprocal travel restrictions."

"The Cubans are not letting us travel outside of Havana without previous authorization and so we are responding with the same restriction here."

"The problem is that the (Cuban) Interests Section cannot travel outside of Washington, and González is in Florida," he added. "If they let us travel outside of Havana, their officials can travel to see him."

The Spanish agency also added that, according to the State Department, González can travel to Washington to meet with Cuban officials, if those responsible for his supervised release allow him to travel there.

Responding to these statements from the State Department, the director of the United States Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry stated:

"The United States Interests Section (USIS) in Havana invariably receives travel permits for outside of the capital in order to visit American prisoners and Cubans naturalized in the United States who are serving prison terms in any part of Cuba. In recent months, United States officials, including the USIS director himself, have had consular access in the provinces of Matanzas, Camagüey, Ciego de Avila, Artemisa and Mayabeque. We do not know what reciprocity he is talking about, as all travel permits for USIS consular visits have been authorized without exception. However, beginning September 2012, the State Department has denied all applications to visit René González presented by consular officials at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, in open violation of its obligations to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The United States authorities have also denied René’s recent applications for permits to travel outside of the area in which he is serving his additional sentence of supervised release, which is keeping him unjustly distanced from his wife, who is not permitted to visit him."

Havana, February 28, 2013

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meps meps unacceptable !!!!!!!!!!

ISOLATE CUBA !!!!

New Cuba: Beachhead for Economic Democracy Beyond Capitalism

Thursday, 17 January 2013 By Keith Harrington, Truthout | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13918-the-new-cuba-a-beachhead-for-economic-democracy-we-should-support

meps meps unacceptable !!!!!!!!!!

CANT BUT HUMAN FACE ON CAPITALISM ... I KNOW MAKE STUFF UP !!

US: Cuba is a State Sponsor of Terrorism

Washington refuses to lift the harsh economic embargo on Cuba

by John Glaser, March 01, 2013

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/03/01/us-cuba-is-a-state-sponsor-of-terrorism/

meps meps unacceptable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ISOLATE !! ISOLATE CUBA !! MEPS !!!!

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Havana. March 7, 2013

World Communion of Reformed Churches supports the Cuban Five

Claudia Fonseca Sosa

ON the final day of his first pastoral visit to Cuba, Reverend Jerry Pillay, president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, stated he would appeal to the humanity of U.S. President Barack Obama to show solidarity with the Cuban Five and their families.

As part of his visit he met with family members of the Cuban anti-terrorists imprisoned in the United States for close to 14 years and affirmed that he was moved by some of the stories they recounted. During a press conference at the headquarters of the Cuban Council of Churches in Havana, where he was welcomed by Antonio Santana, its vice president, he stated, "My message to these families was that we can never give up on the commitment to their release."

The South African pastor declared that his organization would attempt to unite voices and place on the agenda of the World Council of Churches, the World Lutheran Federation and other ecumenical organizations, including those in the United States, the cause of Ramón, Gerardo, Fernando, Antonio and René, plus the issue of the blockade of Cuba.

Regarding his fruitful five-day visit to Cuba, Pillay —who is also general secretary of the United Presbyterian Church of South Africa— made reference to his tour of various faith organizations in the country, such as the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Cuba and the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also met with representatives of the Religious Affairs Department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches, which has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, is a network of Protestant Churches from 108 countries, with an estimated membership of over 80 million. One of its key objectives is to promote economic, ecological and gender-related justice worldwide.

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Havana. March 7, 2013

IMPERIAL CYNICISM

U.S. claims it does not protect oppressors

Jean-Guy Allard

WHILE the deportation trial of a Salvadoran repressor is underway in Miami, in a U.S. government attempt to clear its reputation as a safe haven for repressors, it continues to ignore applications from various South American countries for the extradition of some of the worst murderers in their history, given refuge in that country.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "set up the show" in Miami —the city where terrorist Luis Posada Carriles resides— before deportation judge Michael Horn, asking him to order the deportation of former Salvadoran Defense Minister General José Guillermo García, under a 2004 law which "allows" a foreigner linked to torture and executions to be deported.

"HISTORIC CHANGE IN POLICY", SAYS THE HERALD

According to the Miami Nuevo Herald, affiliated to U.S. intelligence and the Cuban-American mafia, the trial is "the most recent example of a historic change in policy by the government of the United States."

This somewhat gratuitous statement is accompanied by an admission, "For much of the last century, U.S. administrations were on the side of dictators and right-wing military leadership in Latin America, viewing them as bastions against communism."

Contrary to what the Herald claims, the reality does not match these statements.

For those whose memory is not so good, the civil war in Salvador (1980-1992) left 75,000 dead and 8,000 disappeared. Many military personnel retired and moved to the United States, some of them after having been accused by human rights organizations of murder, kidnapping and torture.

Nothing has changed in the United States. It is still the same, siding with politicians who submitted to imperial supremacy and former pupils of the sinister School of the Americas and other terrorist training academies in the region.

MASSACRES WITH ADVISORS

Three recent cases demonstrate the traditional cynicism with which the U.S. dismisses extradition applications from Latin America.

Last October, in the Federal Court in Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut, Argentina, three defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, accused in what has become known as the Trelew Massacre case, an act of slaughter during the military dictatorship that cost the lives of 16 young revolutionaries.

The trial did not include the vilest offender in this crime, former Lieutenant Roberto Bravo, although in 2009 he was located in the United States by the Argentine Página/12.

Detained in February 2010 after being accused in Argentina, Bravo was rapidly released on bond with no sign of the extradition application subsequently submitted being honored.

Bravo is the officer who gave the order to kill the 16 young revolutionaries. He acted in the name of a military dictatorship whose repression techniques were obsessively inspired by U.S. instructors and manuals.

Also very recently, Chile applied for the extradition of retired army officer Pedro Barrientos, based in the U.S., and protected by the State Department under asylum legislation.

Barrientos is accused, with Officer Hugo Sánchez Marmonti, of the assassination of singer-songwriter Víctor Jara on September 16, 1973, less than a week after the military coup which overthrew Salvador Allende.

In Bolivia, it is close to 10 years since former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada fled to the United States, and since the October 2003 massacre, which killed 67 and caused hundreds of injured. Bolivia has repeatedly requested his extradition and the State Department merely responded that "it was studying" the application.

In Miami, former General García's trial has turned into a cynical farce, including its possible outcome. At 79, he does not have much to fear, given that it is anticipated that Judge Horn will not announce his decision at the end of the trial, but months later.

If it is decided that he should be deported, García will approach the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, to have the decision reviewed at the Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta. If he is unlucky there, his legal team can seek an overruling of the decision at the Supreme Court of Justice. (PHOTO: AP)

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Havana. March 15, 2013

US newspaper calls for Cuba to be removed from countries supporting terrorism list

WASHINGTON, March 14.—The United States should exclude Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, according to an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

"Cuba remains on the list … because it disagrees with the United States’ approach to fighting international terrorism, not because it supports terrorism," it states.

The State Department has confirmed that it has no plans to remove Cuba from the list. But Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who recently led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Havana, "is urging President Obama to consider a range of policy changes toward Cuba, including delisting it, which would not require congressional approval," the newspaper noted.

"Moreover, keeping Cuba on the list undermines Washington's credibility in Latin America," the LA Times comments.

The editorial highlighted Cuba’s condemnation of the September 11 attacks and the fact that the country is currently hosting peace talks between the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Army of the People) and the government of Juan Manuel Santos.

This list and other like it, through which the U.S. government assumes the illegitimate right to evaluate the conduct of other countries, has political motivations, in that it allows the administration to justify the anti-Cuba blockade policy.

Sanctions implemented against a state sponsoring terrorism include a ban on: unlicensed financial transactions; direct U.S. government financial and technical aid; exports of certain merchandise such as heavy industrial products, high tech equipment and dual-use products; munitions transfers; and the denial of temporary visas to nationals from the country concerned, without a special decision from the Secretary of State.

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The USA's foreign policy.......what a horror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBv49PrR_nY&feature=player_detailpage

Victor Jara

words by Adrian Mitchell, music by Arlo Guthrie

Victor Jara of Chile

Lived like a shooting star

He fought for the people of Chile

With his songs and his guitar

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Victor Jara was a peasant

He worked from a few years old

He sat upon his father's plow

And watched the earth unfold

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Now when the neighbors had a wedding

Or one of their children died

His mother sang all night for them

With Victor by her side

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

He grew up to be a fighter

Against the people's wrongs

He listened to their grief and joy

And turned them into songs

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

He sang about the copper miners

And those who worked the land

He sang about the factory workers

And they knew he was their man

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

He campaigned for Allende

Working night and day

He sang "Take hold of your brothers hand

You know the future begins today"

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Then the generals seized Chile

They arrested Victor then

They caged him in a stadium

With five-thousand frightened men

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Victor stood in the stadium

His voice was brave and strong

And he sang for his fellow prisoners

Till the guards cut short his song

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

They broke the bones in both his hands

They beat him on the head

They tore him with electric shocks

And then they shot him dead

His hands were gentle, his hands were strong

Repeat first verse

go to

http://www.last.fm/music/Victor+Jara

Edited by Steven Gaal
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